Gudrun Johnston & Mary Jane Mucklestone

One of the best things about working in the field of hand-knit design is that it really is an industry which abounds with good eggs. In my view, two of the very best eggs around are Gudrun Johnston and Mary-Jane Mucklestone: great friends, talented designers, and Shetland enthusiasts. Gudrun spent her early years in Shetland,… Read More

sound and vision

My good friend Felicity Ford (aka Felix) is as enthusiastic as I am about Shetland and its wool industry. In 2013 (when she was patron of Shetland Wool Week) Felix worked on a number of field recordings for her important project, Listening to Shetland Wool. From the baas of lambs caught on the breeze, to… Read More

Helen Robertson

If you’ve read my introduction to The Book of Haps then you’ll already have come across Helen Robertson – a Shetland artist and craftswoman whose work I deeply admire. Working with silver wire and other precious materials, Helen has developed a uniquely thoughtful aesthetic which celebrates, commemorates and reflects upon Shetland’s history and heritage –… Read More

Uradale

One of the really fascinating aspects about our Shetland Oo project has been finding out more about what motivates Shetlanders who work with wool, and what really makes them tick, both personally and politically (because yes, in so many ways wool is political). Ronnie Eunson and Sue White of Uradale farm, near Scalloway, are particularly… Read More

Shetland Tannery

As part of our work researching and documenting Shetland Oo, this past August, Tom and I met Natalie Cairns-Ratter of the Shetland Tannery. I’d acquired several of Natalie’s beautiful sheepskins on earlier Shetland visits, and was intrigued to learn more about the tanning process, and how her company came about. Small-scale tanning was previously a… Read More

Ninian

Next week (all being well at the printers) we are hoping to release our new Shetland Oo book! For those who don’t know, this is not a book of patterns, but a documentary project in words and photographs exploring the world of Shetland wool. Tom travelled all over Shetland meeting and photographing Shetlanders who work… Read More

wintery days

There is a definite change of season in the air. There have been days of rainbows . . . . . . and days of freezing fog . . . and nights when the northern lights shimmered and shifted above the west highland way. This particular wintery spell has brought sub-zero temperatures and fine dry… Read More

November sun

The weather really was glorious today. So, leaving Tom liaising with our printer, and muttering about gutters and crop marks, I decided to take the afternoon off. I took a camera and headed out to Loch Lomond with Bruce and walked for a few hours. This was just what was needed to blow away the… Read More

sprint finish

It has been something of a hectic week here. Tom and I have had our heads down completing our new book, which, all being well, will go to the printers next week. The title we’ve settled on is Shetland Oo: Wool, Textiles Work, and those of you who were keen on the idea of a… Read More

around the loch

The October weather continues to amaze. I think the landscape where we live perhaps looks its very best on a golden Autumn day. This is the morning view from our house, across the small loch which sits just behind us to the south. The loch supports an abundance of wildlife and is full of trout,… Read More

our current projects

Thanks so much for your feedback on yesterday’s poll! I found the results really interesting and illuminating, but also somewhat troubling, as I wasn’t completely sure that all respondents had a full sense of what Shetland Oo is actually about. We are currently working on two projects. The first, Shetland Oo, marks an interesting departure for us as… Read More

Home and away

It’s been an interesting (and busy) couple of weeks. Tom has been travelling around Shetland, finalising the photography for our new book, and I’ve been here, at home, working. Without Tom, I’ve a tendency to go a bit feral. I eat whatever happens to be in the cupboard, I leave things lying around with no… Read More